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This Is My Endometriosis Beginning




Article by Cherese Spand

My name is Cherese.  I am 34 years old and am living through complications of stage IV Endometriosis. I was initially diagnosed when my daughter was about three years old through a laparoscopic procedure. I was 21 at the time after that procedure; I was placed on two rounds of Lupron, which is an injection given into the fatty tissue of the Buttocks. Each shot stops your cycle for 3 months. In those 6 months I was forced into an extreme case of menopause terrible night sweats mood swings at the age of 21. Since the maximum recommended dosage is 6 months that came to an end. My symptoms were extreme pain with periods vaginally and rectally no cramps just loads of pressure and stabbing pains. After Lupron; I was placed on numerous cycles of birth control pills for years. My last straw was the Depo-shot which barreled me up to over 45 pounds of weight gain after almost two years. I was OK for about 1 1/2 years and then my cycle became increasingly more painful every month.

Honestly not knowing much about Endometriosis at the time I thought that I was mostly cured due to the fact that I had the Lupron and have controlled Nature synthetically. When the exact opposite was true. I was continuously having extreme pain on my left side despite being on the pill of and on. At this point I have no health insurance so no more frequent visits or prescription plan for my pills this lasted for three years until I reached the age 31 and then all Hell breaks loose. I started having crippling abdominal pains to the point that no pain medication would relieve it. I was having severe bouts of not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time when 3-4 times per day was a normal occurrence for me. Paired up with pain and rectal bleeding.

At that point in time, I was losing about 10 days minimum due to being sick all the time. And just when I felt better the cycle was starting all over again. Trips to the emergency room started I felt like my insides were pulled out beaten with a meat clever placed back in and set on fire while being stabbed with a sharp metal object. I don’t want to be so blunt but when you tell people you have Endo they say “Oh really?” and/or  “Just have a baby.”

 WHAT!!!! Get pregnant on top of this. NO!! So now my mission begins a hunt for the right Dr. after 10 trips to the ER and they cannot find anything on any of my CT scans or X-rays. They start to think I am absolutely out of my mind and so does my husband. You are complaining of pain uncomfortable all the time now and we cannot find anything. It must be in your head. I went from Pelvic Specialist, Gynecological Cancer, and IVF you name it I went there. All I heard was!!” We can get you pregnant for 10,000. I used to specialize in Endometriosis but not anymore”, “Let’s put you on the pill for 3 months and see how you respond.” I believe this is all in your head mind over matter have you been to a psychiatrist?” I was at my Wit’s end. If I had one more smart comment or Rectal exam that left me in tears and in pain for 2 days I was really getting ready to lose it. Now at this point my stomach had started swelling to the point where I looked like I was about 7 months pregnant. My emergency room visits were too frequent I was tired of going. But now something was different the swelling that I had during my period did not leave this time.

I was not able to digest food or drinks. This trip to the ER in January of 2009 was in the middle of a snow storm. I had to get to the Hospital none of the drugs they gave me that time worked at all just made me completely Sick and groggy. This CAT scan showed that I had some type of Masses and the largest was 7 CM big. Once this cycle was over I started my search again to where I could be seen. I went back to work and was not able to be on my feet for extended periods of time. So I had one of the other Stylists helping me with my clients. When she asked me what was wrong?  I explained to her and she told me to call the CEC in Atlanta. I called and sent my Medical records down for review I had no idea this place even existed.

After about a week I received a call from the Dr. and he stated that he believed; I would be a candidate for the center due to all I was enduring. I called to schedule an appointment, they gave me the first available date of April 15, 2009, which was 2 months away. I prepared for our trip to Atlanta. I was one of the worst cases in his history. Over 100 points of Endometriosis.  Unfortunately, my uterus was not able to be saved as it was encrusted. I also had my Gallbladder removed as well which was fused to my liver with adhesion’s. I stayed with for a week and then came home for my 12 month recovery. I returned home to start bleeding two weeks later.

I was advised to return to cauterize the areas. But was not strong enough to travel. As the months went by the pain was unbearable. I did not understand once a surgeon operates, no other surgeon was willing to see you. I would then get a monthly period that the doctors here were calling Vaginal Bleeding. Go figure! I ended up becoming ill again unable to function and having severe abdominal pains and bloating. I went in for an Ultrasound the Endo had attached itself to my vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to reside) and had grown into my bladder bowel and rectum.

My Recto- Vaginal septum had a nodule the size of a lemon. I called one of the advocates for our cause and was referred to a Specialist here in NY. Thank Goodness he accepted my case. I underwent another excision surgery I had a colorectal surgeon assisting. This time I had a bowel and rectal resection, Bladder urethra all excised and my right ovary removed. This was the beginning of a very long recovery and many complications. Let me say that I was in the hands of awesome highly skilled Specialists and the severe complications had nothing to do with their techniques. My journey will continue, as I am now 37 years old and have a more to add to my Endo-story.

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